Lean Diet, Sharp Mind - July 2015

Higher intake of trans fat, commonly used in processed foods to improve taste, texture, and shelf life, has been linked to worse memory function in men in their prime earning years.

Each gram per day of dietary trans fatty acid intake was associated with an estimated 0.76 fewer words recalled. This translates into 11 to 12 fewer words recalled with the highest intake vs none from a mean of 86 words, they report.

Dr Beatrice Golomb told Medscape Medical News. "In terms of brain function more broadly, our work has previously shown an association between trans fat consumption and worse mood and more aggressive behaviours. Thus, trans fats show adverse associations with two of the other key pillars of brain function, mood and behaviour," she said.

A large body of research has linked trans fat intake to other health risks, including higher rates of cardiovascular disease and obesity. "What has recently emerged," said Dr Lichtenstein, "is the association of obesity with cognitive decline and that intake of trans fatty acids may mediate the influence of obesity on cognitive function. As a neurologist, I am frequently asked how to prevent dementia and preserve memory. With this and other evidence, I can confidently counsel my patients to avoid food with high trans fats. After all, sharp minds run on lean diets." – Medscape Online

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